“Life should be a party and everyone should be invited!” says G Cody QJ Goldberg, whose daughter Harper inspired the adaptive innovation of Harper’s Playground in Portland and many parks that followed. No longer built with dangerous materials such as concrete and sharp metal, these new inclusive playgrounds sport softer surfaces and ADA-friendly play equipment to welcome all children of all abilities.
Anna & Abby’s Yard, Rogers Park, Forest Grove, Oregon
This wonderland was built by a community to memorialize two sisters. There’s a giant dragon made from a downed 200-foot sequoia, and a carousel that allows kids with mobility differences to ride. Music Alley provides instruments for auditory fun.
Harper’s Playground, Arbor Lodge Park, Portland, Oregon
The original inclusive playground that spurred the trend incorporates natural ramps, hills, and trees in the design. Accessible saucer swings and spinners encourage communal play.
Let’s All Play Place, Salem, Oregon
Located next to the Salem Hospital Outpatient Rehabilitation Center, the playground is surrounded by a track, allowing patients and other visitors to build motor skills. Play elements include a slide, swings, and a water play area.
Cassia Park, Boise, Idaho
A universal-access playground in Boise Bench, Cassia includes a play structure with auditory elements, mazes, and mirrors for younger children, and cool partnered swings and spring toys.
Adventure Island Playground, Settler's Park in Meridian, Idaho
To experience the “Grand Voyage” of the main play area, kids of all abilities traverse ramps, swing, climb, get wet in a splash pad, and enjoy musical tones in the sound garden.
Brooklyn’s Playground, O.K. Ward Park, Pocatello, Idaho
A yellow-brick-road path leads to this kingdom, which is segmented into themed places to play imaginatively, including an Old Western town. High and low elements, such as monkey bars, allow kids in wheelchairs to play next to their friends on foot.